Notes on Richardson et al. 2014

Notes on Richardson, J. L., Urban, M. C., Bolnick, D. I., & Skelly, D. K. (2014). Microgeographic adaptation and the spatial scale of evolution. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 29(3), 165–176. doi:10.1016/j.tree.2014.01.002

Paper here and explanatory blog post here.

The basic idea of the paper is to create a measure of adaptation that’s the phenotypic difference between populations standardized by the size of the dispersal kernel. I like the idea of quantifying local adaptation in terms of dispersal kernels. It’s useful for talking about mechanisms of local adaptation like selection vs drift. It also could help us understand how quickly local adaptation occurs in a given species or expected changes under climate change. Unfortunately, the size of the dispersal kernel is really hard to get at for many species – dispersal is hard to measure!